Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC, U.S.A.
Thanks for bumping this thread, as I missed it the first time around. I have always been keenly interested in the so-called "river pirate swords". I am assuming that the curved guard could be used like a bien, to parry or even break an opponent's sword? The back alleys and tight tea-houses of China would seem to be the obvious reasoning for these smaller bladed swords that often fit into one scabbard. They would have made ideal "pirate" swords in that they could also be used in the tight confines of a ship without stabbing a fellow shipmate in battle or becoming intangled in the rigging. This was the exact same reason smaller cutlass and hangers went to sea in the Western navies and merchantmen.
Now I am NOT saying that I necessarily accept this as fact, but in more than one book on piracy circulating around, one can see one of these hu-die-daos (didn't know the name of it. Thanks, Gav) that was supposedly carried by one of Captain Kidd's crew. Of course, there was plenty of trading going on to support this. Likewise, pirates came from all walks of life (think of the whaling crews made up of Maori, Africans, Haitians, Polynesians, etc). Very interesting swords, none the less...